View Full Version : Open or tight string pattern for more spin?

03-09-2005, 03:59 PM
Do you want an open string pattern or a tight string pattern for more spin? I always thought it was open, but I have heard from some people that it is tight.

03-09-2005, 04:02 PM
Definitely open, ball grips to strings better.

03-09-2005, 04:02 PM
I have always been told its an open string pattern for more spin.

Richie Rich
03-09-2005, 04:18 PM
depends on your form. i use lots of top on both sides and i have a pretty decent kick serve. i have used 16x18, 16x20, and 18x20 string pattern racquets. you might lose a little spin with the 18x20 but you get better directional control and your strings last way longer so you can use high quality strinhs since you don't have to restring that often. i use 18x20 racquet now and i won't go back to anything else.

rich s
03-09-2005, 04:22 PM
more racquet head speed for more spin.

03-09-2005, 04:25 PM

The traditional advice has always been that an open pattern has bigger openings and thus bites the ball better. You will undoubtedly find more people who think this is true, many have not even heard of the newer theories. However, some people now think that a denser pattern has more material in contact with the ball and thus provides more spin. There is some limited data to support either view....but I believe the jury is still out on this one.

I think that what most people perceive as more or less spin is more to do with the different feel that dense or open patterns provide. If you have it in your mind that the open gives more spin and you feel the distinct difference of the open pattern vs closed, you think you are getting more spin. But it's very difficult to be really sure. Did you hit that ball at 2000rpm? What would it have been with the identical swing and racquet(if it were possible to have everything else the same) but a different pattern? 2010 rpm? 2100rpm? 2500!? I doubt it would be 2500! Any difference is relatively small, you can get big spin with both patterns, MOST of it is in your swing, sure, perhaps one pattern enhances it slightly, sure, maybe it's "easier" to get spin with a slower and/or flatter swing with one...but I think most of the difference in actual spin production is probably in people's head. The swing is the thing.

03-09-2005, 04:29 PM
It's agreed somewhat that an open string pattern makes it easier to impart spin. However, good spin can be also made with a tight pattern. More importantly, top spin is a result of brushing up through the ball during the stroke.
For years I hit with an open pattern. In recent years I've been hitting with a dense pattern (Head Prestiges) and find that I much prefer the response, the feel and preciseness. I would never go back! But certainly there a advocates for the open pattern. Like is often said "different strokes for different folks"!

tennis ace
03-09-2005, 04:37 PM
I believe you get more control with an open string pattern. If you look through the reviews for racquets on this website, they generally lean to the conclusion that open string patterns supply more spin to the ball.

03-09-2005, 04:54 PM
open=spin like pog

tight=control like pc

03-09-2005, 05:19 PM
i had a PD and switched to an i.prestige mid.

im getting the same spin. the PD had a more oepn pattern.. but with the prestige i get a lot more head speed.

and what richie said is completly right.. you can get a lot of spin with control with the prestige. i didnt have half of the control with the PD

rich s
03-09-2005, 06:13 PM

The traditional advice has always been that an open pattern has bigger openings and thus bites the ball better.

Just to play devil's advocate a little....:)..... how about the idea that with a tighter pattern you get more strings contacting the ball thus more spin imparted on the ball?

I've played extensively with a Satellite Tour (102sq in, 18x19 pattern) and most recently with an LM Prestige MP (98 sq in, 18x20 pattern). Both are similarly weighted and balanced, both seem to be equally manuverable and yet I feel like I can generate comparable spin with either racquet.

my $.02

03-09-2005, 06:44 PM
i have a dense pattern (lm radical). i couldn't imagine having an open pattern. i'm workin on flattening the ball a bit, and plus, my strings last longer.

03-09-2005, 08:16 PM
We need Vic Braden to come back with his high speed cameras.
Set up to measure ball spin rpm vs racquet head vertical speed/acceleration.
The ratio would yield the answers for various pattern densities.
Shouldn't be too hard to do. Two to three days of work.
Would be interesting to prove or disprove the prevailing open pattern theory.

03-09-2005, 08:24 PM
yes, but then string gauges need also to be taken into account, and tensions, becuase the looser tension pockets the ball more. you cant just say a presige with an 18x20 pattern strung at 60 can be fairly tested against a pro staff 6.0 95 with a 16x18 pattern strung at 60. the ball pocketing and dwell time are quite differnet, and as a result the spin emparted will be different as well. if we look further, we can see that flexibility of a frame will also contribute to potential spin, as will mass, swingweight, and most importantly, velocity. my point is, you can try to eliminate all of the variables, but frames are differnt in more ways than just string density, you cant ignore other charachtersits in favor of just testing for one. the best way, in my opinion, to test what kind of spin you get, is to hit with 2 frame,s of differnt densities, agains tthe same partner, in an indoor club, and when you are done, ask youreslf, and him/her what they thought of the weight of your shots, and the spin you got on them. thats the only way to tell, because every frame plays differnt in one players hands than other.

03-10-2005, 06:28 AM
I can't get very much spin with a volkl tour 10 v-engine (18x20), but can get tons of spin with a Yonex RDX-500 (16x18).

03-10-2005, 07:35 AM
I always somehow think that a racquet with a hollow frame which makes those big booming sounds give me more spin, cuz you can really hear it much louder when you brush the ball.

03-10-2005, 05:45 PM
the best way, in my opinion, to test what kind of spin you get, is to hit with 2 frame,s of differnt densities, agains tthe same partner, in an indoor club, and when you are done, ask youreslf, and him/her what they thought of the weight of your shots, and the spin you got on them. thats the only way to tell, because every frame plays differnt in one players hands than other.

Extremely subjective Hummer as I pointed out in my original post. You haven't eliminated any of the variables you pointed out by doing this. Though I agree this may help an individual determine which frame produces more spin for him!

The best way would be in a controlled lab test, however, you need to use 2 identical frames with different string patterns drilled in. Of course, some frames may be more condusive to certain patterns so that would still be a problem. Then you need to test the spin created at various swing speeds AND ball impact angles, as one of the patterns might favour certain types of ball strikes/swings. I think in a test like this, we might get some good data.

It could also help answer the age old question of whether thicker gauges or thinner gauges create more spin.

tennis ace
03-10-2005, 05:50 PM
welly put datacipher. Although it most likely wouldn't occur, your idea for having a controlled lab test is a good idea.

03-10-2005, 06:04 PM
an example of a frame that comes in 2 differnet paterns while maintaining same headsize, and esentially the same weight and swingweight is the yonex rdx 500 mp. the hd version has very similar specs, to standard model. its interesting to note, that they play completely differnet. i played with both, and the one with hte tighter string pattern felt much more stiff and less forgiving, where as the more open mattern seemed to grip the ball a bit better for me. thats just my swingstyle however, so this wont apply to all. As to spin potential, i didnt really feel a difference between hte 2 frames, with maybe a bit more spin possible on the 16 mains version, if i really tried to swing up through the ball, as for a moonball or a lob. its an interesting question however, and i think there are just too many factors to really test it, but it'd be interesting to try.

Jeffrey Wang
03-10-2005, 09:26 PM
Actually the string pattern could be a mislead since it doesn't say much how they distribute. Like Volkl V10 OS, it has denser at the center and looser around the edge. It feel more like 18x20 than its 16x19 suggest. But with same string, tension and head speed, the denser string bed has more string contact the ball which results in less deform and quicker release of the ball thus less time to generate more upward force for spin. Same theory on thinner gauge and lower tension for increasing spin. You can lower 2-3 lb or using thinner gauge string to increase the spin capability on your small head dense pattern racquet. But if you are looking for ultimum spin, large head size, very open string bed (14x17 on Head ix10) and 18ga string strung at the lowest recommand tension are best way to go.

03-11-2005, 01:42 PM
Denser pattern on the center counts only partially, because in any case on 16x19 you have more catapult effect than 18x20.

I would say that spin is mostly due to dwell-time, than another important point is that denser patterns tend to give a less curved ballistic so you may have the sensation to impart less spin, but these aren't connected.

03-11-2005, 06:52 PM
Here is my theory.

1. Generally open pattern is easier to generate spin. I've tried many racquets. Hammer 6.2 line has one of the most open pattern and it's very easy to hit with spin. With head racquets, I feel less confident.

2. For groudies, weight of racquet (the heavier, the better for spin), flexibility (the more flexible, the better) matter. For serve, we hit almost static balls, I feel those matter less compared to ground strokes (IMO). Loser tension helps.

3. I feel thinner string is better than thicker ones for spin. Actually this will start a bigger debate. Many think thicker one is better and it seems Tennis magazine agrees with that.

03-11-2005, 09:02 PM
I'm not sure what to think about string patterns and their effects on spin potential. The most spin I've ever produced on kick serves goes to my Wilson Rok 93 strung with Wilson Natural Gut 16, a racquet with a dense string pattern and 16g string. People say the POG can generate a ton of spin because of it's open string pattern, but I failed to notice any extra spin on any of my shots (well, maybe a little). Spin is definitely all in your technique.